28 July 2006
On Friday, we got up in time for breakfast, packing, and off to catch the 10:30 am train.
Please excuse this travelogue for a totally geeky, workaholic comment: Trains are terrific places to write. Barb and I both being overly geeky and tending towards workaholic have actually tried to write on a cruise ship. Too many distractions, not enough quiet places to work. But on a four hour train ride to Wales, in air-conditioned comfort, with beautiful scenery to look up at but not insist on being attended to, with the kids reading or playing video games, and with food or the bathroom at the end of car. It's too bad I can't just hop on a train each time I want to write. Got a whole chapter done of the CS1316 book on that trip, and most of another one on the return.
The kids are great travelers
We got to Llandudno by 4pm, and we were awe struck. It's a beautiful Victorian oceanside resort, in the midst of a Welsh mountain range. (Snowdonia, their largest national park, is just across the Conwy river.)
We got two nice rooms at the Wilton Hotel, just off the Promenade (boardwalk).
The girls love their Four Poster bed
A view of Llandudno's beach from the pier
The city and the pier are near a large rock called the Great Orme. The Promenade curves along the natural curve between the Great Orme and a smaller but still impressive rock called the Lesser Orme. (Oh, those Welsh – snazzy names for everything! :-)
The family standing on the Pier with part of the Great Orme behind them. Check out the metal work on the pier – the Victorian metalwork patterns were everywhere.
Matt really wanted to climb the Great Orme, so we started up.
Katie with the Victorian pier in the background (completed 1877) on our way up the Great Orme
There was a lovely garden filled with references to Alice in Wonderland. (Llandudno was where the Liddell family used to Summer.) And a really cool Druidic stone circle. Then the steep climb up.
Barb on part of the Great Orme looking over Landudno
The whole family, with the Lesser Orme in the background
Proof that I was there, too!
On the way back down the mountain, we had seen this really cool ski chalet – open in the summer! You could snowboard down a hill covered with carpet (seriously!) or do a toboggan run on a metal trough. It was a lot of fun – we all did two runs.
When we came back, the water was gone! The Irish Sea's tide is amazing!
We had a nice semi-Welsh/semi-British meal. (Wales is a lot more British, especially Llandudno as a British resort town, than Ireland or Scotland.) Then the girls really wanted to do some of the rides on the pier.
Barb, hanging out waiting for the girls
We took a little walk out the pier, checking out the seaweed and mussels left behind by the tide.
At this point, it was past 9:30, so we got everyone to bed for a busy day exploring on Sunday.